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Working in Theatre

Our agreements

The MU has a collective bargaining agreement for musicians working in the West End of London with the Society of London Theatre (SOLT). 

We also have House Agreements with Companies including:

  • Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)
  • The Royal National Theatre (RNT)
  • Regents Park Theatre (RPT)
  • Menier Chocolate factory (MCF)
  • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Each of the organisations above have unique and distinct ways of working. The Union has negotiated bespoke agreements for these companies for the employment of musicians that recognise the needs of each company.

In addition to the above the MU has a National Agreement for regional subsidised theatre and commercial touring theatre with UK Theatre (UKT). Members with enquiries about the 2018 agreement should contact the Live dept for information, via or 0207 840 5512.


Skill Set


A successful theatre musician will be able to sight read to a very high standard, play competently in all styles, be able to follow a Musical Director (MD) and, at the same time, keep an ear out for what is going on onstage. Being mindful to the changes that can happen on stage and being able to adapt to those changes is a key skill

Be personable and friendly — it’s often in close quarters and confined band rooms and pits where time is spent with fellow musicians. Finally, be prepared to play the same notes in the same way eight times a week.

There is little scope for personal interpretation or improvisation. Theatre work is a discipline that may not be suitable for all musicians. However, it also provides security of engagement and a regular income which can last for decades if a show is very successful. Such reliable income streams are not common for musicians in the music business.

Guidance for Musicians – Terrorist Attacks targeting music venues

Related downloads

MU UK Theatre Rate increases 2018-2021 Commercial 8 shows (PDF 229.17 bytes)

MU UK Theatre Rate Increases 2018-2021 Subsidised 12 Shows (PDF 228.24 bytes)

MU UK Theatre Rate Increases 2018-2021 Subsidised 8 Shows (PDF 232.53 bytes)

MU UK Theatre Rate Increases 2018-2021 Commercial 12 shows (PDF 228.59 bytes)

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Agreement 2019-2020 (PDF 249.72 bytes)

UK Theatre New Clauses 2018-2021 - Addendum (PDF 379.09 bytes)

Royal Shakespeare Company 2013 (PDF 231.7 bytes)

SOLT MU Agreement 2015-2018 (PDF 1.07 MB)

Guidance for Musicians - Terrorist Attacks Targeting Music Venues (PDF 26.08 bytes)

Royal National Theatre 2018 - 2019 (PDF 394.44 bytes)

Regents Park Open Air Theatre 2018-2021 (PDF 935.9 bytes)

Menier Chocolate Factory Agreement 2017 (PDF 569.98 bytes)

SOLT MU Rates 2018-19 (PDF 120.37 bytes)

The Other Palace MU Agreement 2017-2018 (PDF 82.42 bytes)